Conwy burning yacht: Partially-sighted man, 82, helped rescue family

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Yacht on fire
Image caption,
The yacht blew up in Conwy harbour minutes after the family were rescued from the vessel

A partially-sighted army veteran, 82, helped rescue a family from their burning yacht just before it exploded.

John Nicol, from Llandudno, and a friend pulled a mother and her son onto their vessel and hoped the skipper would be able to put the blaze out.

But the flames were already too fierce and they were forced to also help the skipper, who escaped minutes before the yacht blew up.

The drama happened in Conwy harbour on Saturday 3 April.

Mr Nicol and his friend had spotted the burning yacht in the distance as they sailed to Puffin Island.

'Luckily, no-one hurt'

After rescuing the mother and son they had initially handed the skipper their fire extinguisher to douse the flames.

"I have sailed for 50 years and was a coastguard for 18," said Mr Nicol.

"Luckily, I know all the procedures, so I was able to give the coastguard all the information they needed. It all happened so quickly.

"It was awful what happened, and I feel dreadfully sorry for the family, but luckily no one was hurt."

Mr Nicol, who served in the Army with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, lost his sight because of anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy and glaucoma.

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